THE mother of an autistic boy is to sing protest songs in the fight to save a children’s centre which has been her lifeline.
Becci Frost, 23, and her son, Zac three, have been able to draw huge support from the Oakmeadow Sure Start Centre in Fareham.
But under new money-saving plans drawn up by Hampshire County Council in its budget, it is set to close 28 of its 81 Sure Start centres, saving £6m a year.
In The News region this will mean cutting 26 centres to 18.
Miss Frost has been helping to organise a protest against the plans to merge or close the centres where they will be singing adapted children’s songs including If You’re Unhappy and you Know it, and The Wheels on the Bus Are Falling Off. Miss Frost, of Snapdragon Close in Locks Heath, said: ‘Sure Start has been very important to me.
‘I had been told at first that the reason Zac was having problems was because of medication I took for my epilepsy during my pregnancy. I spent 18 months thinking his problems were my fault, but when I was referred to Sure Start, they were the ones who reassured me that it wasn’t anything I had done.
‘It was like having a huge weight lifted off of my shoulders.’
‘They’ve got a sensory room at Oakmeadow which is fantastic for Zac. If he’s having a bad day he can go in there and scream as loud as he likes and throw himself around knowing that he won’t hurt himself.
‘The staff know Zac and they know me, I know they will be there for us.
‘It’s a place where I know we won’t be judged because he’s disabled, which has happened when we’ve been to some mainstream clubs and groups.’
The protest is planned to take place outside Oakmeadow in Tewkesbury Avenue, Fareham, on Sunday, March 6 from 1.30pm to 3.30pm.
The county is continuing its consultation on the proposals until March 14, and it can be seen on the council’s
website at consultations.hants.gov.uk/active.aspx